Most betting systems fail because they are based on notions about the maturity of chances. If the player loses a bet, he increases the size of the next bet on the theory that a win is “due.” After a few successive losses, he either is out of money or is required to make a bet larger than the casino will accept. All casinos have house limits, which vary from table to table and place to place.
A few superior systems attempt to maneuver the betting pattern so that somewhat more money is at stake on a winning roll than on a losing one. To promote logical thought, we shall begin the review of betting systems with the poorest and proceed to the best.
This procedure is known as the martingale and is applied to even- money bets such as red or black or odd or even or pass or don’t pass. Believing firmly in the gambler’s fallacy, the player wagers that the so-called law of averages will overtake him in time to produce a profit. After every losing bet (on, for example, red), he doubles the stakes.
If the first bet is , and loses, the second is and, during the prolonged streaks of one kind or another that occur frequently (if unpredictably) at all gaming tables, the ninth bet is 6. By that time the martingale fancier has lost 5. If the 6 bet wins, he is ahead and can begin again. Alas, he inevitably encounters the house limit, which ends the betting progression in deep red ink.
Persons unconvinced of the inevitabilities sometimes try to achieve quicker profits than a successful martingale affords. Instead of merely doubling the stakes after each loss, they add a fixed sum to the doubled amount. For example, a bettor might add each time, making his second bet , his third , and so on. Inasmuch as losing streaks occur at random, without regard to the system player’s grand designs, the house limit is reached sooner and losses are heavier.
The player lurks at the table waiting for three or four passes in succession, after which he places one betting unit on don’t pass (or red or odd or whatever even-money bet has not paid off in the last three or four plays). He may even combine this procedure with a martingale of some kind.
He must lose because he has tied himself to the gambler’s fallacy. No law of nature makes the next roll of the dice more likely to be don’t pass when the previous three or five or twelve have come up pass.
We have already mentioned that and repeat it here only for emphasis. But here’s something else. The notion that 1,000,000,000 turns at the table should yield about 500,000,000 passes and 500,000,000 craps, or busts, is simply not true. For example, it would be well within the realm of probability if 49.9 percent—or 499,000,000—of the turns were craps, or busts, and 50.1 percent—or 501,000,000— were passes. The difference would be 2,000,000 passes. By that time, the guy who hung around waiting for three passes in a row so that he could bet the other way would have been ruined repeatedly, if he lived so long.
Trend reversal is no better than the martingale.
Casinos keep their roulette wheels in good repair. When one gets out of balance sufficiently to produce conspicuously biased results. it is decommissioned and fixed. Nevertheless, a school of thought holds that no wheel is absolutely perfect. Scholarly types chart the results, looking for the recurrence of certain numbers or groups of numbers. Having spotted a trend, they try to ride it. Unfortunately, such short-range trends are bound to occur even with a perfectly balanced wheel because random results must eventually include patterns of all kinds. Where faith in the hot trend is combined with a martingale, rapid disaster waits.
Known also as up-and-down or D’Alembert, this implementation of the gambler’s fallacy prolongs the action considerably and is especially helpful to someone (a) willing to accept a moderate loss and go home before things become really desperate or (b) willing to settle for an even more moderate profit and go home when it is achieved.
After each losing bet, the stake is increased by one betting unit. After each winning bet, it is reduced by one unit. The first bet in the series is for one unit, and if it wins, the next bet is treated as the first of a new series. But if it loses, a longer series begins in which (hopefully) each pair of bets (one win and one loss) shows a profit of one unit.
Because the bet increases one unit after each loss and decreases one unit after each win, it can be seen that more money is involved in the winning bets than in the losses. This often compensates for the predictably larger number of losing bets than winning ones.
Unfortunately, and very much as usual, the player who persists along this line without a reasonable stop-loss limit or stop-profit limit is absolutely sure to hit the protracted losing streak that ends in collision with the house’s betting limit.
This also has something to recommend it when the player uses a sensibly small wagering unit, severely limits his evening’s losses and is willing to leave with a small profit (if lucky enough to accumulate one). Indeed, the system produces a profit on red or black or pass or don’t pass or similar bets even when the player loses as many as two of every three attempts.
To play cancellation, the player writes a string of numbers, such as 1-2-3-4. The amount of each bet is the sum of the numbers at the ends of the string. In this case, the first bet is five units. If it loses, the string becomes 1-2-3-4-5. And the next bet is six units. If the first bet is a winning bet, the two end numbers are crossed out and the string becomes -2-3-4-$. And the next bet is six units (2+4).
If all numbers on the string are crossed out, the player is ahead by an amount equal to the sum of the original string of numbers—in this example, 1+2+3+4=10.
The player determined to break the bank must eventually reach the house limit while experiencing a perfectly normal losing streak. But someone willing to settle for moderate wins or losses can do quite well. Comparatively speaking, that is.
This system buys maximum action with a minimum bankroll and, in the hands of a player free of irrational greed, can produce pleasant
victories more often than not.
The object of each betting sequence is to win one unit. If the first bet (one unit) wins, the profit is pocketed and a new sequence is begun. If the first bet loses, the next bet is also one unit. Having fallen behind, the player follows each losing bet with another of the same size. While still behind, each winning bet means that the next bet will be larger by one unit.
Thus, if during a particular sequence the player is six units behind
and is betting two units and loses, he now is eight behind and bets
two. If he wins, he is again six behind and now bets three. If that wins he is three behind. His next bet is four. If it wins, he is one ahead and the sequence is over. His next bet is therefore one unit.
No bet is ever larger than necessary to yield the desired profit of one unit. In the foregoing example, if the winning bet of three units had left the player only two behind, his next bet would also have been three—to produce the desired profit of one.
When playing Craps, Roulette or Blackjack, the player finds it easy to compute the bets mentally. When a sequence ends, the chip or chips that represent the profit should be put in a separate pocket.
A reasonable approach for a player with a 0 loss limit would be to fix his betting unit at and resolve to walk away after winning . If this sounds chintzy to the big movers in the audience, let them consider a ,000 loss limit, a betting unit and a maximum evening’s profit of 0.
Large bettors must beware of encountering the house’s betting limit and suffering an evening’s loss. Both they and smaller bettors often do well to terminate a losing sequence long before it gets serious. For example, if the player’s maximum loss is fixed at fifty units for the evening, it often pays to quit a sequence when its loss exceeds twenty units. Go have a cup of coffee. Then start over again. It often is possible to wipe out the twenty-unit loss and proceed to the maximum profit.
But not always.
About the Author: There are countless Online Casino variations on the staple games of poker. Many of these games employ wild cards, in which a card can have any value. Hardcore poker players turn their nose up at wild cards, since they throw off the probabilities and change the nature of the game. However, for the rest of us, wild cards can be a fun way to spice things up a little...